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Roy Victor Erickson was born in Seattle, WA on June 21, 1941. He was the oldest of two sons to Delos and Leona (DeWinter) Erickson. He lived with Parkinson’s disease for twenty one years with great dignity and acceptance.

After graduating from Edmonds Washington High School with honors, Roy attended Whitman College on a full scholarship as a Sloan Scholar. There he majored in math and physics and met Alice Hoagland who later (1964) became his spouse. A quest for further education took him to the University of Michigan and a PhD. in Probability. He then came to M.S.U. where he taught statistics for 40 years. He especially enjoyed the connections he made with students during those years.

Roy’s love of music began early and he enjoyed playing saxophone in several local big band jazz bands, mostly for fun, and sometimes, for a little pay. He played clarinet once in a while and taught himself flute and piano.  He loved new challenges.

He was a seeker. When he and Alice went for bike rides in the hills near their college, Roy always wanted to ride higher while Alice wanted to enjoy the view. When he rode bikes with a group, he  took off on his own to explore further. When he and Alice hiked with their sons, Alice told the boys, “We have to keep up – I don’t know how to get out of here” as Roy took detours from the trail.

Roy ran, swam, and rode his bike for pure enjoyment.  He participated in several DALMAC rides. When he could no longer run, he walked. When he could no longer ride his bike, he rode a trike. Although Alice asked him to stay on the trails, that was not what Roy did. In recent years Alice had to rescue him more than once.

Roy is survived by his wife, Alice Hoagland Erickson; three sons, Jed (Meredith), Corey (Virginia Lopez),  and Ross Erickson; four grandchildren; and two great grand children. He is also survived by his brother, Jim (Jan) Erickson; sister-in-law, Anna (John McDill) Hoagland; brother-in-law, Evan (Judy Ciasto) Hoagland; and five nephews. He had many friends who cheered him on his way, and for that the family is grateful!

Special thanks go to the caring staffs at The Ridge at Lansing and Hospice of Lansing.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Roy and Alice Erickson scholarship fund at the Lansing Community College Foundation or to Hospice of Lansing.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing, on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 1:00 P.M. 

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Roy’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


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5 Condolences

  1. Anna Hoagland and John McDill on July 21, 2023 at 8:35 am

    Roy, John and I so loved your wry humor. I can hear you laughing, giggling at your own jokes. We will miss you. You were the best brother-in-law. Alice, you were a super-loving partner to this great guy.

  2. Allyson Erickson on July 21, 2023 at 10:10 am


    I love and miss you so much. I miss walking into your room seeing you surrounded by all of your statistic books, and then looking through the pages wondering what all of it means!
    I miss your laugh, smile and hugs.

    Thank you for being the best grandpa,


  3. Robert C Paulson Jr on July 21, 2023 at 11:32 am

    I was only living near Roy and Alice in the late 1960’s and 70′ but found their freindship to be like them, fun. Wish I could have been around them longer because they were always great to be around.
    When my wife and I left Michigan we missed them and I still feel the loss.

  4. Jim Erickson on July 21, 2023 at 4:35 pm

    Roy was six years older than I. He was my role model, the standard I tried to achieve. Many times I heard, “ oh Roy Is your brother. You have much to live up to.” I tried. He was always ahead me on the trails. Our 100 mile canoe trip in Canada remains a treasured memory. And the stories shared of the places he discovered climbing higher or going further are with me still. Roy was a good brother and a good man. He will be within my heart whenever a trail or a river calls. And thank you Alice for your steadfast love and care of him.

  5. Jed Erickson on July 23, 2023 at 2:36 pm

    My father loved the outdoors and took me on countless adventures- ALWAYS off trail, in brand new places. Our cross country road trips, hikes, climbs, swims, rides, canoe trips and just sitting around the campfire and talking are burned into my memory for the rest of my life. My father was the strongest gentleman I have ever known. A man who could effortlessly climb to the top of a steep rocky cliff, ride his bike for miles on end and break Craftsman socket wrenches on engine bolts, he also gave me the warmest hugs and had the most beautiful smile. My father was a listener, seeker, adventurer, thinker, problem solver and a damn good father. He will be forever missed. Love you Dad!

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